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How to Prevent Paint-Peeling on Walls, Bathrooms, Concrete Ceilings and Cars

Updated on May 8, 2017
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Januaris is a professional painter and author of painting guides. He has been painting houses and other structures for more than 13 years.

In my previous article, I discussed about the reasons for paint-peeling on your bathroom walls and ceiling. In this article, I am going to teach you how to prevent the paint-flaking problem in your home.

Peeling paint is a problem that you wouldn’t want it to happen in your home. But the most worrying is that the problem is inevitable: you will have to face it at some point in your life.

cracking & peeling
cracking & peeling | Source

Knowing the reasons for paint blistering, bulging, cracking or chipping can help you stop the problem. From my previous article (mentioned above), you can learn why paint peels off on coated surfaces.

Here is how to avoid or stop paint from peeling off on your walls, bathroom, kitchen, concrete ceiling, car or even when removing tape after coating.

In brief, how to prevent paint-peeling on walls, bathrooms, concrete ceilings and cars

1. Protect surfaces from water

2. Prevent humidity & condensation conditions

3. Prepare surfaces properly before painting

4. Apply coating only on clean surfaces

5. Protect coating from heat & sunlight

6. Use the right paint & primer

7. Employ the right painting methods & practices

8. Keep corrosive substances away from coated surfaces

1. Protect Surfaces From Water to Prevent peeling Paint

You should avoid splashing water on newly-coated surfaces in order to prevent this problem. It is hard to prevent water coming into contact with surfaces in your washroom or kitchen, but try as much as possible to minimize sprinkling or spraying a lot of it on the surfaces.

Seal your newly coated area with a suitable material/substance as it is highly vulnerable to water damage and other destroying factors. Cover the area with a primer to block water and allow the colorant to dry accordingly.

Water can come into contact with your walls through leaking roof, faulty gutters, flashing or soffits. So ensure you repair any malfunctions on these parts to eliminate the paint peeling problem on your walls. Clean your gutters regularly to allow for an effective disposal of rain water.

2. Prevent Humidity and Condensation Conditions

Keep your windows open in humid weather to avoid the buildup of moisture in your rooms. Whenever you are washing in the washrooms, open the windows to allow excess moisture out.

You may have to install some form of ventilation if the indoor air is condensing. Use ventilation fans or vents to drive the moist air out and bring in a dry one, which is good for your coating.

Paint doesn’t stick well on a damp surface, so do coating only when the air is dry and the surface is free from dampness. This is highly recommended if you are using oil-based paints.

3. Prepare Your Surface Properly Before Painting

Fix any cracks or holes on the surface before painting. Apply a suitable patching material on the surface and let it dry, then smooth it out to create a surface that can stick paint.

Your ceiling could be having an incomplete joint compound or seam tapes. It is recommended to fix any incomplete parts of the ceiling before applying a colorant on it. Seal end grains and joint spaces with a suitable joint compound.

If you are doing a repainting work, use a suitable scraper or brush to remove the old coatings. Fill any holes or cracks with a suitable patching material and let the material dry completely before proceeding.

Choosing the right scrapper can really be a doubting task, but as a professional painter, I can help you make the right choice. I usually recommend the Red Devil 6-In-1 Tool which is designed to make repair and refinishing jobs quicker and easier. According to my own experience, this tool can be used as a putty remover, gouger, spreader, roller cleaner, scraper and knife.

It comes with great features like solvent-resistant handle and rust steel nail setting head. It is designed for maximum dependability and safety, and the best thing when it comes to handling is that it can fit in your pocket.

If you are working with smooth surfaces like furniture, it is recommended to sand them up in order to make them a little bit rough. After sanding, use a tack cloth to remove any loose particles.

Using the right primer to prepare the area-to-be colored is also a great way to prevent the problem. You should know that not all primers can work on your surface, so choose the best one. Apply a thin coat of primer and let it dry before doing any coating.

4. Apply Coating Only on Clean Surfaces

Ensure your surface is clean by removing the tough dirt with a sandpaper and the loose particles with a cloth. Sanding as a cleaning method is highly recommended in concrete and other rough surfaces.

In the case of furniture or new metal, use a damp cloth to remove dirt from it and then let it dry up. You can use a dry rag to ensure it dries up completely before coating.

If the surface has contaminants such as mold, mildew or wood sap, remove them with a suitable cleaner. For stains that can’t be cleaned, use a primer to block them.

5. Protect Your Coating From Heat and Sunlight

According to painting experts, it is not recommended to apply paint to a hot material. This is because paint doesn't stick to a hot area. It is recommended to wait the material to cool down before you can coat it and then protect it from high temperatures to avoid the peeling problem.

chipped layers
chipped layers | Source

Intense sunlight causes the flaking problem, so protect your newly-coated area from excessive sunlight. You can use sunlight barriers or shades. Exterior walls are usually prone to sunlight damage, so you will be forced to repaint them every now and then. Concerning your car, always park it under a shade to prevent the problem from occuring on it.

6. Use the Right Paint and Primer for Your Surfaces

Get the right paint for your bathroom, walls or ceiling. Different emulsions are designed for different materials, so ensure you pick the one that suit your surface. Also, some paints do not bond together, so choose them wisely. Using the correct colorant eliminates incompatibility issues.

When it comes to the primer, choose the right one for your surface and paint. Priming is part of preparing your material, so get the right primer and you will not have any major problems with your coating.

Avoid low-quality paints as they are highly associated with the chipping problem. Also, do not be attempted to use expired colorants because they don't work.

7. Employ the Right Painting Methods and Practices

Choose the correct brush or roller for your water-based, oil-based, latex-based or alkyd-based paint. Brushes with thin and soft bristles help a lot in preventing the peeling problem, so try them in your coating job. Use also a tape to ensure you stick to your coloring area.

Many brushes have been manufactured, but most of them are not reliable - they break or the bristles detach in a short time. If you are looking for a durable brush, I would recommend that you go for the Purdy Brush 3 Pack. I have been using these brushes for more than 2 years, and they have never shown any signs of breaking or wearing out.

The super-strong brushes (Dale, Glide & Sprig) come with a high quality solid wood handle (offers durability & comfort), nylon/poly blend bristles (provide excellent coverage & maximum paint lift) and chemically angled & tapered filament tips (provide extra shine). They are great for interior/exterior use and work with all kinds of paints and primers.

Apply the recommended number of layers. Allow one layer to dry up before applying another one over it. Do not add too thick layers as they can become heavy and fall off. Use only compatible paints to ensure you create well-bonded layers.

Get the thickness of layers right. Apply thin ones to smooth materials such as furniture, metals & wood and thicker ones to tougher materials such concrete & bricks.

Protect your coating temporarily before it dries up and forms a strong bond. Some paints form a hard top layer immediately after applying them, so you don’t need to add a protective layer when using these colorants.

Give your coating enough time to cure. Unlike drying which takes hours or days, curing takes a longer time like weeks. Leave your area undisturbed for 2-3 weeks for it to cure completely. Lastly, ensure you prevent paint from peeling when removing tape.

8. Keep Corrosive Substances Away From Your Coated Area

Some substances like strong acids and bases react with paint, causing the coating to peel off. So ensure substances or liquids containing them do not come into contact with your tinted area.

Acid rain causes the paint-chipping problem on the exterior parts of roofs and walls. Choose colorants that are not affected by acids for your roof and walls. With the right paint, surface preparation and application method, you can always avoid the problem in these exposed parts.

layer falling off
layer falling off | Source

In Conclusion…

As you can see, it is easy to stop paint from peeling off in your building. You can prevent the problem by following the right painting practices and taking proper care of the tinted area. You don’t need a professional painter to solve the problem for you. It is a do-it-yourself thing if you have time and want to save some money. So keep your home attractive by fixing the problem on your own.


  • Thompson G. W. "Painting Defects: Their Causes and Prevention.". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry. ACS Publications. (2002).
  • Gola E. F. "Avoiding Mistakes in Exterior Painting.". The Old House Journal. (1976).
  • Batcheler, P. H. "Paint Color Research and Restoration.". Technical Leaflet 15. American Association for State and Local History. (1991).
  • Labine C. "Selecting the Best Exterior Paint.". The Old House Journal. (1976).
  • Weeks K. D., Look D. W. "10 Exterior Paint Problems on Historic Woodwork: Treating Paint Problems.". National Park Service. (2002).

Is paint-peeling a menace in your home?

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If yes, do you think you can stop it with the help this article?

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© 2015 Januaris Saint Fores


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